in which a good choice is made

Yesterday morning, my dad called and asked me, "So are the Kings wearing a crown tonight, or a jester's hat?"

"It's a test of their maturity," I said. "They could easily be up 3-1 right now if they were a more mature team. If they can play their game tonight, instead of trying to out-Shark the Sharks like they did on Tuesday, I think they can win. If they win tonight, I think they win the series. But I'm pretty sure they're just not mature enough to settle down, and they're probably going to lose."

"So, jester's hat, then."

Did my dad just give me the tl;dr? Did I just get Trolldad'd?

"…yeah," I said, "probably."

"Well, go Kings!" He said.

"Yep. Go Kings. Love you, dad."

"Love you too."

While last night's game wasn't a collapse nearly as epic as Tuesday's disaster, the Kings still allowed three goals on five shots, including two on back-to-back shots. The defense looked like a bunch of beer leaguers, and I'll be astonished if my beloved LA Kings play more than one more game this year.

Contrary to what my only-mostly-joking Twitter Rageface may lead you to believe, this wasn't entirely unexpected. The Kings weren't even supposed to make the playoffs last year, so they're still a year ahead. This was the year they were supposed to get in (and had they not shit the bed at the end of the season, probably would have beaten Phoenix or Nashville) and maybe get to the second round. So, taking the long view, (say it with me, Cubs fans!) There's Always Next Year.

Later in the day, I was up the street talking with my neighbors, who have a five year-old and a twelve year-old. They know that Anne and I are empty nesters (SCORE) and they invited us up to their house to dye Easter eggs with their family.

I love that I live in a place where I get to stand on my lawn and visit with my neighbors, and I love even more that I live in a place where my neighbors invite my wife and me to spend some time with their family doing what is typically a family activity.

I had a choice to make: stay home and watch the hockey game, or miss at least the first two periods and go up the street. I love hockey, I love my Kings, and I love the playoffs … but honestly, it's just a game. It wasn't a very difficult decision.

A little after seven last night, Anne and I walked up the street to their house, and spent about two hours with their family and another one of our neighbors, turning eggs into art — well, some semblance of art, anyway. I'm one of those artists who can tell stories and perform characters, but I can't even make a good looking stickman with some pipe cleaners and a sign that says, "THIS IS A STICKMAN."

But it was still a really good time. It's been fourteen years since I dyed Easter eggs with a five year-old, and I'd forgotten just how much fun it is to watch that fragile eggshell mind in action, mixing colors, drawing shapes, and offering the unique perspective and commentary that comes from a lifetime that currently isn't much longer than sixty months.

We made eggs that were covered with glitter, eggs that had patterns drawn on in white crayon, and eggs that were shrink wrapped with pictures of duckies and bunnies.

To see my effort to nerd things up, look past the jump:

Here's my effort to nerd things up a little bit:

The DalEGG says EGGSTERMINATE!

And here's Anne making my effort look like the Kings to her Sharks:

The EGGleventh Doctor

The EGGleventh Doctor and the TardEGG

I know, right? The important thing is, I tried and had fun. Also, my wife out-nerded and out-crafted me. That's pretty awesome. (The five year-old said to me, "Your egg is kind of nerdy, but hers is really nerdy.")

It was a great time, and as we walked home, I was grateful to live in a place that feels like a small town, even though we're in the middle of a sprawling metropolis.

After we put our eggs in the fridge, I watched the third period of the game. It was a disaster for the Kings, who gave up three goals on four shots, and will almost certainly be eliminated on Saturday in San Jose; this team just isn't ready, yet. That's a drag, of course, but it's just a game, and as the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months, it will remain just another hockey game … but I have the memory of making Doctor Who Easter eggs with my wife, our neighbors, and their children.

I made a good choice, and as far as the playoffs go, there's always next year.

33 thoughts on “in which a good choice is made”

  1. You’re a good man Wil Wheaton, and you’re right. A Kings playoff loss will fade but TARDIS Easter eggs? That’s for life. I feel so unimaginative now because it never occurred to me to try themed Easter eggs. My horizon has been broadened.

  2. I made the mistake of telling the men in my life that hockey was just a game. I ended up with a 3 hour lecture on how hockey equals life. Nice to hear that a man agrees with me for once.

  3. Sounds like you need to stop watching the games, and see them after the fact or just catch the scores. They were doing fine until you came home and started watching, right?…. :-P

  4. Speaking as a long-time Wil Wheaton fan and a long-time hockey fan, I want to say that I really appreciate seeing a) a fellow nerd who loves hockey as much as I do, b) a fellow man who understands hockey is just a game, and c) someone who has such a mature outlook on his team and their seasons.
    Now, I am a Sharks fan, but I am not here to rub it in. This entire series, some of the most fun I’ve had has been seeing how into you get, and how self-aware and un-self-conscious you are about it. It’s a great example to us sports fans, and I hope the Sharks fans in your life have been as gracious to you as you have been to us.

  5. I had to smile this morning when I read your tweet about dying eggs instead of watching the start of the hockey game. I too had to decide last night if I was going to watch the Blackhawks as they have not really looked like the defenders of Lord Stanley’s cup.
    So I was rather surprised when I heard my hubby exclaim from the living room “OMG! The Blackhawks are leading 5-0 in the middle of the 2nd!!?” All I could think of was your Kings the other night leading by 4 goals & going on to lose.
    As I climbed into bed I offered up a little prayer “Please, God, don’t let the Hawks pull a Kings”
    I tried to stay awake listening on my iPod – reminiscent of listening on my transistor as a kid under the sheets after lights out. But, I wasn’t successful.
    Here’s hoping the Kings find whatever the Hawks found in Vancouver last night!

  6. It would have been cool if someone had made a Sarah Jane easter egg in memory of Elisabeth Sladen. My favorite companion off all time.

  7. Good read. I gave up on Sports = Serious some years ago, but I still enjoy motorsports.
    Even if I don’t always like the outcome of a race or a season, there’s still history there, having grown up with it.

  8. It’s done in Britain, too (I used to do it when I was younger) – though I think Americans generally do it with more panache…
    The US method is more sensible, too, IMO – rather than hard-boil them, Brits tend to make a hole in each end of a raw egg, and blow the insides out of them. Makes the whole thing rather more fragile.
    And Wil: I think it’s wonderful that the neighbours invited you to dye eggs with them and their kids. Thank you for sharing moments like these with us.

  9. LOL. I love those Easter eggs. Very nerdy, but oh so cool. I have an almost two year old so no dying eggs for us just yet. She’s a little too young to understand what is going on. So this year I’m still doing the plastic ones with toys inside them. Have a Happy Easter Wil.

  10. We had game night last evening at our house. Just as our friends arrived, our 4-year-old was about to begin dying his eggs. Our friends have 10 and 11-year-old boys. I invited them to join our son. While they dyed eggs, my husband and I fixed dinner, and the adults played a board game afterward while the kids did their own thing.
    It was only today after my son began decorating his eggs a little more that I noticed a particularly amusing one amidst the group. It was bright green, and in the “magic invisible crayon” the words “Mmmmmm…Bunny Brains…” were written across it.
    I had to laugh. Only the awesomely nerdy son of my awesomely nerdy friends would think to combine Easter eggs with zombies. Then again, another friend of mine likes to refer to Easter as Zombie Day. ;)

  11. My father-in-law had a great, adult take on Easter egg coloring. He created a bunch of categories (could be anything!). We then colored our eggs.. then he’d go through the categories, for each category we’d put in an egg and announce some reason why it fit the category. He’d declare a winner, who would get some pennies or something. When we were all through the one with the most pennies was declared “winner” but we had a great, laughter-filled time and really didn’t care.

  12. Hi Wil. I just knew even before I saw your photos that your eggs just had to be Doctor Who inspired. I think you have reached a new level of nerd! New Doctor Who starts in a couple of hours here in the UK. I hope you guys don’t have too long to wait.
    Happy Easter, and Don’t Blink!!!
    Julian

  13. I was a Vancouver Grizzlies fan before they were moved to Memphis (ouch, it still hurts to say that 10 years later :( hehe). We never even got to make it to the “maybe next year” level of hope, so I feel your pain. And cool eggs :)

  14. Cool eggs. Next time you visit Seattle, you should seriously consider driving up to Everett and checking out AFK Tavern. Last night was Dr. Who night, and all the non gaming screens were playing episodes. AFK Tavern is a gaming restaraunt that has good food, great staff, and not only allows but encourages table-top rpg, card, and video game playing. They have a food, alcohol, and game menu. They have PS3, 360 (with Kinect), and Game Cube colsoles, that I have seen. I think they have an Atari and Wii as well. The owner decided to run a 3.5 Eberron one shot last night because I had posted “that I would be interested in gaming and wondered if any groups were meeting and allowing new players.” Pretty cool in my book. Plus, it’s a hang our for table-top and video game designers. Monte Cook usually comes in 3-4 times a month.
    Joe

  15. One of the best posts I’ve read here.
    I bragged on your choice to my husband (“this blog post just talked about…”) and realized I didn’t have to say “Wil Wheaton [did x]” as one of the aspects that made the story cool.
    Good choice, and thanks for the peek. :)

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